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Insight Paladares: La California, Havana

For the last few years, the paladares of Cuba have been trying to save the country from its stereotype of mediocre to bad food.  La California, located in Central Havana, is doing its part by reintroducing the island to quality Italian dishes, especially their pizza. 



Insight Paladares: Café Ajiaco, a paladar in Cojimar

If you have ever heard of Cojimar, a small fishing town on the outskirts of East Havana, it is probably because of Ernest Hemingway.  “Papa´s” passion for fishing, and drinking, has left an indelible mark on this piece of bucolic Caribbean seaside. 



Insight Paladares: Heart of Old Havana

Nestled in the heart of Old Havana, Paladar Doña Eutimia has become a culinary and cultural landmark in the city´s thriving arts district amongst tourists and artists alike.

Doña Eutimia opened its doors in early 2012, however, like everything in Old Havana, its story begins much earlier.



Insight Paladares: Doctor Café, Havana

Doctor Café is perhaps Havana´s most non-descript fine dining experience.  The name inspires images of sandwich nibbling and coffee sipping on a Parisian sidewalk.  The setting, a back patio in the residential neighborhood of Miramar, feels more homely than haute cuisine is accustomed. 

The first hint that you might be about to indulge in some serious culinary skill is when the waiter recites the menu.  From that point on, it’s all about the food. 



Insight Paladares: Atelier, Havana

Every evening, in an otherwise nondescript Vedado home, behind the Hotel Melia Cohiba, a gathering of nations takes place at the restaurant Atelier.

The night I went there, the French table was peppering the waiter with questions about the blue cheese sauce, the Germans were dressed as if they had walked from the pool, a Canadian couple was being romantic, and a table full of my fellow Americans was going on about tomorrow´s schedule. 



Insight Paladares: La Esperanza, Havana

La Esperanza opened as a paladar in 1995, at the height of the Cuban Special Period.  “When we first opened, our day off was on Thursday because that was the day our neighborhood had its electricity cut during the energy crisis,” Hubert, the owner, told me while recalling the early days of the business.